Pablo Mastroeni, Colorado Rapids Head Coach
On taking Houston out of its comfort zone:
I’ve been talking about it all year. It’s the mentality we have as a group. I’ve said all year, it’s going to take some time. There’s not a doubt in my mind that we can get to where we want to be as a team, come the critical moments of the season. I think the second half of the last game, and tonight, was a glimpse of where we want to be, and where we want to go. That doesn’t come without those guys committing to the cause, and more importantly, working their tails off to find their way into this game.
On what stood out in tonight’s win:
Offense and defense are connected, they aren’t isolated. For me, I’ve been harping on good defensive shape all season long. From that you get good opportunities going forward. All this stuff takes time, and I’m asking them to think about the game differently than they’ve ever been asked to think about it. When it comes together, you get performances like tonight. I couldn’t be prouder of the work. Having said that, the expectations go up, so the mindset has to get sharper, the work has to be more intense. I think tonight those guys played really hard for each other and themselves, and in the end, the result reflected that.
On how the game just looked ‘fun’ tonight:
I wanted to get out there and play, it looked like so much fun. You have to earn the right to play in those kinds of games. Those games don’t just happen. Houston’s a great team. They are a little short-handed on players at the moment, but they are a very dynamic team. To be able to play like we did against a team of that caliber speaks volumes of the type of hard work we had to maintain in the early parts of the game, to then get a foothold in it, and play the exciting kind of soccer.
On Deshorn Brown building confidence:
I think the difference between good and great at this level is confidence. Those that play at the highest level, and can maintain that level play with a lot of confidence. At times it’s hard to find, especially as a striker when you’re not hitting the net. But again, all the little things Deshorn has been doing leading into this game has now put him in a position to score those goals. I couldn’t be happier for him, and the type of work that he did when he wasn’t scoring those goals.
Kamani Hill, Colorado Rapids forward
On his goal:
It was a corner kick. Dillon Powers took it and he served in a great ball to the near post and I was thinking about heading it, but it was kind of in the midrange in between my chest. So I decided to go with the outside of my right foot. It’s probably a goal I used to score when I was 10 years old. It was just instinct.
On scoring after his previous attempt was saved off the line:
I’m so happy I got one. Because that was so disappointing. I thought it went in to be honest but I haven’t seen the replay. I wish I just could have connected better but it was great to get one.
On getting the second win in as many games:
So awesome. We played like a team today. We did what Pablo wanted us to do which was to close down hard as soon as we turned over the ball. And I think we didn’t allow Houston much space to breathe. I think we accomplished what we set out to do and I think it’s a great step for us moving forward.
Dillon Powers, Colorado Rapids forward
On Pablo’s coaching philosophy:
I think his big thing is there’s no right or wrong. It’s just if you do it and do it well then it was the right decision. He wants us to go out and play free. I think I did a lot of that last year too. I was in that position but floated into the midfield quite a bit. But as far as his philosophy, Pablo just wants us to play and keep it free. Don’t worry about making mistakes, just play.
On his assist for Deshorn Brown’s second goal:
Nick won the ball and I started breaking. He played me a little in front, and the defender committed so there was space behind. I just saw Deshorn [Brown], because that’s all you want as a midfielder - that run in behind and that first movement. From there, with Deshorn’s speed, I don’t have to do too much, I just had to put it in behind.
On scoring on the corner kick:
It was big time. Set pieces is one of our big mantras. We’ve been pretty good defensively on them this year. It was nice to finally get one – or actually we got a free kick goal against RSL. But it was nice to get a corner kick and it was a fantastic finish by Kamani [Hill].
Deshorn Brown, Colorado Rapids forward
On what the difference was tonight:
I think the motivation from the guys in the locker room. We tried to get these three points and move up in the rankings. I think that was the big push for us. That’s what Pablo said, that was the motivation for us. We just told ourselves that we would go out there in the first 20 minutes and try to get goals as quickly as possible and try to focus from there.
On Pablo’s comment about needing just one goal to build his confidence:
He’s 100 percent right. I take that from him as a veteran player. I learn a lot of stuff from him, I always listen to him. So I just listened to that and I looked back on the Montreal game, looked at the mistakes I made and corrected myself in this game today.
On his second goal:
It was a quick reaction, I saw the keeper coming and there was no other reaction there, I just had to kick it fast because he was all the way off his line. So I just kicked it and there we go.
On whether playing with Jamaica has a positive impact on his confidence:
I think it was. I went there and saw a lot of stuff that motivated me to come back here and work harder. It’s a good thing for me. I just have to go there and do the best that I can and come back here and do the best that I can as well. Every time I go, I just come back with a different motivation and try to do my best all the time.
On carrying the momentum into their game on Wednesday:
We have to set our minds to that right now, and just put this one behind us and focus on the one that’s coming on Wednesday. We just have to keep focusing and working hard. Try to relax and get on with Chicago and try to get another three points.
Dominic Kinnear, Houston Dynamo head coach
On the difficulties in getting possession in the final thirdL
Losing a goal in the first five minutes of the game is never good. We just didn’t play well. We came out, we gave a free header in the first five minutes. It’s a dangerous game to play, to play from behind. Give Colorado credit, they’re playing well. It’s tough to play here with the altitude, and when you’re playing from behind for 85 minutes, it makes it even harder.
Will Bruin, Houston Dynamo forward
On trying to create attacking chances in the second half:
Work on that first goal. It sucks when you go out, and they score in the first five minutes of each half. It’s just deflating. We didn’t tighten up on set pieces. We need to start taking accountability, that’s all it is.
On the mindset after the fifth minute goal:
It’s been happening way too much this year. It’s almost another, ‘here we go again’. I know that’s not the right mentality to have. We should just be, ‘alright, let’s go’, but it’s tough on the road. When you give up a goal in the first five minutes, it’s deflating, but we should have guys getting up and saying ‘hey, let’s go, it’s just one goal, get it back, get it going forward. We’re putting our heads down, trying to feel sorry for ourselves, and this is what happens. I think we’re playing well, we’re just giving up stupid goals, and that’s been the theme of the last week for us. When we break it down, we’re not playing bad, we’re just not making teams have to really beat us. We’re leaving guys open in the box, we’re not taking accountability plays, and we’re not scoring goals. That’s just something we’ve got to get out of.
Corey Ashe, Houston Dynamo defender
On confidence after conceding early goals in each half:
You never want to give up a goal five minutes into the game, and then to go down 2-0, it’s frustrating. We thought we had a chance, and then they scored five minutes into the second half, and it kind of just takes the wind out of your sails.
On what Colorado was doing to cause issues:
They had good movement up top. I think it was a combination of them dictating the game, and us not really doing any favors for ourselves. We turned the ball over in bad situations, not really staying clued in. We’re giving up soft goals right now, goals that can be prevented. We’ve had a rough patch, but we need to sort it out, that’s for sure.